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Sunday Hope: In presidential election years the Lakers are 5-3 in NBA Finals

June 13, 2008 |  8:04 pm

Yes, allright the Lakers are in something of a hole here against those other guys.

But there's Hope. For Sunday. And beyond. Thanks to political history.

Yes, fans, in the last nearly six decades of professional bouncing basketballs, the Lakers have played in the league Finals eight times during presidential election years.

This year is No. 9.

The good news is they've won five of those eight times.

The bad news is they've lost three times -- to Detroit 4-1 during the most recent presidential election and to these same MasRepublican senator and presidential nominee John McCain's game face no doubt rooting for the Lakerssachusetts guys 4-3 in 1984 and 4-2 exactly 40 years ago.

The Lakers beat the Pacers 4-2 in 2000, the Pistons 4-3 in 1988, the 76ers 4-2 in 1980 with Magic at the MVP podium, the Knicks 4-1 in 1972 with Wilt Chamberlin as MVP and the Knicks again 4-3 as the Minneapolis Lakers in 1952.

Interestingly, win or lose, every time L.A. plays in the Finals during presidential leap years, the Republican candidate wins -- Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon twice, Ronald Reagan twice, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush twice.

So it's safe to say that instead of the predictable Navy baseball cap, Sen. John McCain, who is a real basketball fan (he did his own NCAA brackets online this March) who doesn't like to lose. As anyone can see from his game face here.

So McCain really oughta be wearing a Lakers cap and two Lakers shirts, plus a Lakers jacket and several pennants on his cars.

Until he returns home to Arizona.

Now you can see the take of our two Lakers bloggers -- Andrew and Brian Kamenetzky -- on our take on their team by going here. But please come back.

(UPDATE: Obviously, totally due to this blog item the Lakers came storming back Sunday. A belated thanks to loyal Ticket reader John and K.C. for their help with this. Now, if you're a Lakers fan, you must click dozens of times on this item for ongoing good luck. :-)  )

--Andrew Malcolm